[6:107] Had God willed, they would not have been idolaters: in other words, everything that takes place only occurs by the will of God and there is no doubt that the preparednesses by which they fell into idolatry and the causes of such [error] in the way of the teachings of their parents, habits and otherwise take place also by the will of God, for otherwise these things would not take place. If they believe in that, then it will have been by the guidance of God; if not, then be easy on yourself; and We have not set you as a keeper over them, to preserve them from misguidance, nor are you, appointed as a guardian to make them believe. This does not contradict what He says to them in censure later on, where He says, The idolaters will say, 'Had God willed, we would not have been idolaters [Q. 6:148], because they said that out of obstinacy and as a way of pushing away [the need for] faith by that pretext and not out of conviction. Thus with this statement of theirs, even if it might be true in the same case, they were lying and denying the Messenger. For had they been sincere, then they would have known that the affirmation of Oneness on the part of the believers was also by God's will; such is the case with any set of beliefs (dīn) but without obduracy or enmity towards anyone. Had they known that everything occurs only by the will of God, they would not have remained idolaters. Rather they would have become affirmers of [God's] Oneness. Nay, they said that with the purpose of imputing lies, to be obstinate and to prove that they were incapable of desisting from their idolatry. That is why God censures them with that [statement of theirs] and not because it is not so. For they have not been apprised of God's will and just as He willed that they be idolaters at a previous point in time, so now He does not will that they have faith. It is not that the heart of each one of them has been imprinted [with disbelief]: the proof of this is the faith of some of them. Why can it not be that some of them were prepared for faith and affirmation of the Oneness, yet were veiled by habit and by what they received from their fathers and thus fell into idolatry, but that then when they heard the warning and witnessed the signs of the Oneness, they yearned for the Truth and their veil was lifted and they affirmed [His] Oneness? That is why He rebukes them with their own statement and demands of them proof that God had always willed that for them, and warns them with the threat of punishment given to those before them, so that perhaps the one in whom there is a modicum of preparedness, when he has been severed from his [false] argument and has heard the threat of punishment given to deniers before him, his veil might be lifted and his heart might soften and he might believe, all of which would be a facilitation for him [from God] and a graciousness in his case; for the world of wisdom is built upon [such] causality. As for the one who belongs with the wretched, those who are turned away, their hearts sealed, he does not pay attention, nor does he give ear, to [any of] that.